The Offering: Letterfrack, Ireland:
Stations of the Cross Aisling
by John Walser

Charcoal erasure stain
Connemara rain:
horizon stacked heather cloud
mountain ranges
one behind another:

veil green storm:

this slick stoned path
this wrought iron gate
this headway keystone hill
this headstone sky :

thick tree protected from the soak
I crouch read
through apricot condensation glass
a young girl’s hydrocephalic handwriting
prayer box note:

Dear Mary, Dear Virgin

Rosary beads coil spent votive candles
like plastic pulled baby teeth.

In a barely ruining ink bleed
the softened pulp
that turns to a fist
of reconstituting concerns:

she worries about her limping little sister
her grandfather’s eyes turned to burren:

she worries about the sky
and the fisherman she sees every morning
who fog pier end walks:

she worries about congregations
of small bird flurry that hesitate
when she steps close
only to squeak and treble start again
when she turns her back:

she worries about spectacular seabirds
tossed motionless beautiful
in cross current pellets.

She writes a sword of anguish.
She writes what I can’t decipher.
(I wipe the rain from the face of the glass.)
She writes meekness.

She writes:

She writes:
Decide soon.
Packingtown Review – Vol.6, Winter 2014/2015

John Walser is an associate professor of English at Marian University. He co-founded the Foot of the Lake Poetry Collective. His poems have appeared in a number of journals, including Barrow Street, Nimrod, Evansville Review, Baltimore Review, Clackamas Literary Review, Naugatuck River Review, Fourth River and Hiram Poetry Review. A semi-finalist for the 2013 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, he is currently working on three manuscripts of poems.

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